Saturday, October 21, 2023

In a couple of months, I'll be on a solo cruise.


Soon, I'll be taking the above cruise.  It is highly likely that I won't bother to get off the ship at any of these stops, two of them because I am in a gender non-conforming presentation.  Strangely enough, I feel almost as at risk getting off at Port Canaveral as I would getting off in Nassau. This is a time where I wish I lived on the West Coast, as  I'd feel safe disembarking at all US and Canadian ports there.  But this was a cheap cruise booked out of New York.

It's going to be strange traveling without RQS.  But it'll be a good thing I do this.  I need reasons to get up in the morning, and enjoying a cruise will provide a week's worth of reasons.

- - - - - -

The last time time I took a solo cruise similar to this was shortly after the pandemic cruise stop was ended.  On that trip, I got off at Charleston, SC to see Fort Sumter. Before that, it was a cruise with XGFJ, where we got off in both Port Canaveral and in Nassau.  (She decided to go snorkeling at the cruise line's private island and was underwhelmed.)  My impression of all 3 ports was lackluster at best. Port Canaveral is a refueling stop disguised as a place worth visiting.  There is no 'there' there. The only things to do are to visit the nearby Space Center or taking a 90 minute shuttle to the Orlando theme parks for a half day of overpriced rides.  Nassau isn't worth stopping at, as there is little that found worth doing or seeing there.  And that leaves the cruise line's private island.  It's a great way to separate  people from their money, as all the special attractions generate money for the cruise line and not independent vendors (as is the case in Nassau).

So, why am I taking this trip?

Simply, I need to get away.  I want to see whether the cruise line is worth it for future cruises with RQS, especially for last minute getaways.  

Wish me luck.

Friday, October 20, 2023

I'm preparing to travel, and I'm missing things


Since I started to clean out the clutter in my apartment, I kept stumbling into the compression bags that I use for travel.  Today, I looked for these bags and couldn't find them.  AARGH!  I knew where things were in the old clutter.  But I don't know where things are in the new mess.

- - - - - -

Right now, my apartment has a vacant space where a sofa used to be.  Things which would normally be near the sofa have been pushed away, so that the new sofa can be put in place.  But this gets in the way of me accessing those compression bags.  In the game of Jenga, I'm caught between a rock place.  No matter what I move, I lose.  In the case of my apartment, if I move something, I will lose track of where it is.  And I am already upset that I can't find the costume jewelry I had in the bedroom that I moved as part of the electrical work done over a month ago.

Luckily, I sorted much of what I need for travel into two easy to find bags, and much of the stuff I will need for the trip is already in my "Go Bag".  But I think I will repack things when I get back from RQS's place, as I know that my backpack should be treated as a personal item.  This way, I can stash my pocketbook in the backpack (or in my carry-on) and retrieve it when I land in Chicago (or when I return to New York).  

- - - - - -

My upcoming trip will be the first one I take with RQS as Marian.  This will be a very interesting trip, as the women we're meeting in Chicago only know me as Marian, but know of Mario's existence.  Let's hope it all goes well.

Thursday, October 19, 2023

Only two things to do today, and it was easier to do as Mario


Today will be a very short entry.  I had two things to do today, and I ended up doing one of them in Mario Mode, as I had to be able to identify myself to a bank where the co-op has an account....

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Normally, the co-op president takes care of things when we need to move money between accounts at the bank, or to get a check drawn on one of these accounts.  However, the co-op president was otherwise occupied, and I decided to take care of things today.  So I got dressed as Mario, preparing to go out later as Marian, and proceeded to the bank.  Once done there, I delivered the check to its recipient, and went out to eat.

When I got back, I dealt with my laundry, only putting one load in the washer today.  Once the washing and drying was done, I brought the clothes back upstairs and decided not to go out anymore.  I figure that later on, I'll fold the laundry and start packing things for my upcoming trip as Marian.

As I said - not much to say....

Wednesday, October 18, 2023

Out with the old sofa...

This is obviously not a picture of my apartment.  It looks too clean and barren.  But it represents how I feel, now that the sofa that I've owned for 25 years is out of the apartment.

But first....

Last night was another (almost) sleepless night, where I couldn't fall asleep to save my life.  Something was preventing me from relaxing enough to drift off to sleep.  And if I had a container of zzzQuil, I would have mega-dosed on it just to fall out.  So I knew that I was going back to bed once the junk haulers left and try to nap a little bit.

I don't know if any of my readers have had the need to use Junk King's removal service.  This is a franchised operation similar to 1-800-GOT-JUNK, where one identifies the junk to be removed, and shortly thereafter, it's gone.  The regional franchisee for the operation runs a side business in selling second hand goods and estate sales - Revivals.  It's a nice synergy (I hate that word, as it is overused to justify many corporate mergers) of two complementary businesses.

This morning, 3 men came to remove my sofa - at exactly 10 am (as scheduled).  I knew that getting the sofa out of the apartment would take a lot of effort, but I wasn't letting the cat out of the bag.  By the time they figured out how to get the sofa out, they had to remove the sofa's stump legs with a pry-bar and sledge hammer, then removing the entryway door to get the sofa out.  (It wasn't this hard to get the sofa into my place 25 years ago, as I only remember having to remove the door.  But I digress.)  Once they got the sofa out the door, they were gone in 5 minutes.  I paid the bill, thanked the 3 men, and then went back to my bed for a nap.

- - - - - -

Waking up at 2 pm, I knew that this would not be a day spent in Marian mode.  I had a co-op board meeting scheduled for 6 pm, and needed to present as Mario for that.  So, I reluctantly got dressed as Mario and took care of some chores before the board meeting.

The board meeting went quickly, and I was able to go out afterward to pick up some outlet extenders at Lowe's  One problem, these aren't the type one permantly attaches to the wall outlet.  So I will have to get different ones tomorrow.

Tuesday, October 17, 2023



After spending the weekend (mostly) as Mario, I finally got a chance to go out in the world as Marian.  First, RQS and I went for pedicures,.  And later, Vicki and I went out for dinner.  This doesn't sound like much, but....

- - - - - -

RQS has noted that by the end of the weekend, we are totally in sync with each other, and that it is hard to part.  Our arrivals at the other's house begin with a greeting, and then a period of synchronization with each other after being apart for the better part of a week.  By the end of the weekend, it seems like we can almost always have a good read on what the other is thinking and work seamlessly together.  Yet, RQS noted that I was several steps ahead of her yesterday when I shifted our pedicures into today.  Once she realized that I had to be in Mario mode to buy the sofa, all was OK.  But she would have liked a better clarification of what I was doing, to understand the whys and wherefores before things start to happen.  Today, with incomplete information from her, I realized which nail salon she wanted to go to, and made sure we went there before she had to go home.

Later on, I dropped RQS off at the train station and killed some time at BJ's before proceeding to Vicki's house.  I got there a few minutes early and texted Vicki of this, saying not to rush.  But when she got home, she wondered - did she give me the right time?  I told her that I was there early, and texted her to say she didn't need to rush.  And then, we headed off to Lefteris Gyro.

Both of us ordered the Greek Salad with Chicken - and both of us feasted.  Unlike most meals, she finished first.  She was famished!  We chatted about many things.  But when I told her about what is going on with our board and our managing agent, she started saying what to do, instead of listening to find out what was really going on.  Eventually, she caught on, seeing that our slow progress on some projects depended on one person - and understanding why things are the way they are.  (Vicki is one of the people I use for reality checks, and I know she can keep a confidence.) 

Once dinner was over, I drove Vicki home and fell out early.... 

Monday, October 16, 2023

I bought the sofa!


Today's post is a short one with a large purchase - I bought the sofa!

Originally, RQS and I planned to get a pedicure today.  One problem.  I would need to present as Mario to buy the sofa, and I didn't want to change back to Marian after being out all day.  So I adjusted our plans on the fly (with a comment from RQS to keep her informed on how my mind was working) and decided to spend the day as Mario for the sofa purchase, then spend tomorrow as Marian for the pedicure.

- - - - - -

Around 2:30 pm (we usually get moving slowly when we have no firm plans), we drove to Yonkers and asked for the salesman who serviced us last time.  After a little bit of waiting (he was servicing another customer at the time), he showed up and I told him that we were ready to make a deal.  He was very happy.  When I asked about the price of the sofa, he started to quote the non-discounted price of the item before (as planned) RQS brought out a copy of the online price for the same item.  Almost immediately, the price adjusted downward, and we chatted for a while on stuff other than furniture.

A little while later, RQS interrupted us, noting it was time to fill in the paperwork.  So, we proceeded over to the service desk, and finalized the deal.  On the way out, the salesman said NOT to bring along the wife next time.  (He was joking, but there was the part of me that said - the two of us work too well together, and he wanted a chance to make a higher commission.)

All in all, a good day!

Sunday, October 15, 2023

I dilly dallied, and it saved me money!


RQS and I have visited the furniture store several times, and we've seen them selling the above sofa in the store for $2,699.  If I had bought it then, I'd  have had a net cost of roughly $3,500 after furniture delivery (and removal) charges, furniture protection add-on, and taxes.  Today, I saw the following information on the store's website for the sofa:

The $780 savings by buying now also result in an approximate $60 savings in sales taxes.  It's probably best that I drop the hammer on this sofa now than later.  However, this will likely force me to be in Mario mode one day this weekend - and I hate doing so.  But to save this kind of money, why not?  However, I now have to arrange the removal of my old sofa and the delivery of my new sofa within a 2 week period.  AARGH!  I hate deadlines, but it is something I have to deal with if I want to be sure that I can get this deal.

- - - - - -

Dilly-Dallying doesn't always save me money, but that's OK.  I've been seeing a car in my price range at a dealership 2 hours away from me.  It's almost too good to be true.  Will I jump on making a deal?  No.  I may visit and ask about the car.  But if they aren't interested in selling the car at the advertised price (without excessive markup), then the car will go to someone else.

TCL says that I am a little too frugal.  But I am careful, as I can't afford to waste funds I can't make up by earning a salary anymore.  So, it will be a hard decision for me when I finally drop the hammer and buy a new car.  At least, I'll have the money in my bank until I'm ready to spend it....

An early dinner with a friend

  Last night, I mentioned to Pat that I wish I could have been born a cisgender female who looked like this when younger.  If I were younger...